Based on a new research from a prominent environmental advocacy group, along with Goldfish, Ritz Bits, and Honey Smacks—oats might have to take a back seat for the time being as well. The Environmental Working Group (EWG), has found that there are unsafe levels of a popular weed killer called glyphosate in certain types of granola, oats, and snack bars.
While the exact effects of glyphosate on humans are still up for debate, it’s unanimously agreed on that too much of the chemical is unsafe. Still, it’s a fairly common chemical to find in most foods, and more often than not, the amount that we ingest on a regular basis is perfectly safe.
But the EWG found no small amount of glyphosate, as about three-quarters of the oat-based food samples that they tested contained higher levels of glyphosate than researchers believed would be “protective of children’s health.” The report listed several popular oat-based food products that allegedly contain Glyphosate, including Cheerios, Quaker Steel Cut Oats, Back to Nature Classic Granola, and many others. You can find the whole list here.
While Monsanto and several of the food companies that use the chemical stand behind the belief that it does not cause cancer, other scientists have determined that glyphosate contains other chemicals that alone or when mixed, could be carcinogenic. For the time being, the World Health Organization still only classifies glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.” But the debate over the chemical rages on, and the EWG may be in the wrong.
“As most health agencies would say, a single portion would not cause deleterious effects,” Olga Naidenko, the EWG’s senior science adviser for children’s health told CNN. “But think about eating popular foods such as oatmeal every day or almost every day — that’s when, according to scientific assessments, such amounts of glyphosate might pose health harm.”
On the other hand, the EWG’s reputation as a biased group bent on pushing bad science on behalf of the organic food lobby is not easy to ignore.
“The EWG fabricated its own safety standard so that they could promote organic food,” said Alex Berezow, senior fellow of biomedical science at the American Council on Science and Health. “They’ve been doing this for years — ignoring the scientific literature in order to lobby for the organic industry.”